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WEEKLY ROUNDUP: Feb 13-19, 2011

Every week, The Signal will be offering up a Weekly Roundup: a collection of mini-reviews, TV news, interesting links and varying television-related thoughts that weren’t big enough to merit a full post on their own. R. Lackie takes point for this week’s roundup…

Reviews, Thoughts and Other
Ruminations

Fringe 3.13 and 3.14: After the ‘meh’ 3.12, Fringe came back with two winners: the red-verse set “Immortality” (3.13), which set Fauxlivia and co. against a man seeking the perfect vaccine to the Avian Flu, and the blue-verse based “6B”, wherein Olivia and Peter had to figure out the emotional centre of a potential vortex. These two episodes contained solid standalone tales with very strong implications for the mythology: with Fauxlivia carrying Peter’s child and his consummation of his relationship with our Olivia, the question of which universe Peter must choose becomes even murkier; meanwhile, when they deflate the key to a potential vortex in the Blue ‘verse, it stops one in the Red ‘verse, hinting that perhaps a war isn’t needed at all. Could the two universes work together in order to start fighting these cracks, and possibly co-exist in peace? That will be a big consideration in our run-up to the big finale.

Parks and Recreation 3.05: Last week I offered the opinion that Adam Scott‘s Ben fumbling through scenes with the police chief were funny, but not hilarious. The team got it right in this week’s “Media Blitz”, as his past as Ice Town Clown led to a very uncomfortable, and in places completely hilarious, series of interviews. Ben, who was supposed to be involved only to talk money, ends up being dragged into the spotlight when his past as a disastrous teen mayor comes to light. Scott gets to play some delightfully wacky moments (everything to do with Perd Hapley, from “Look, who hasn’t had gay thoughts?” to Turd Crapley), which is only made more charming when Ben himself pokes fun at it in the tag. Leslie and Tom largely played straight men to his catastophic collapse, but both had their fun moments as well. Meanwhile, another sweet Andy/April story, finally getting those two crazy kids together just before they overstay their welcome.

Community 2.16: “Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking” continues this season’s trend of skewing darker even as you laugh at it, as Pierce uses the occasion of being hospitalised to torment them with their own flaws. The character work was strong, the comedy was pretty good, and it continued building the Pierce arc well. I’m not sure that I loved it, but I enjoyed it.

Chuck 4.15: Chuck is on a winning streak, similar to the one the show had last season after the close of their serialised arc. That’s two years in a row where the standalone stories with a bit of overarching issues were better than the arc episodes preceding them, making me wonder if the show isn’t at its strongest when it keeps the serialised elements in the background to the funny and fun up front. The CAT Squad was brilliant fun, with a great mix of character types to play off of Sarah, and I’m never sad to see more Carina (Mini Adler). Very good episode.

Glee 2.13: “Comeback” is named rather ironically, as it’s more of a dip after one of the season’s best offerings. The music was rather lacklustre, the plotting spotty, and the dialogue didn’t quite sing. The show in general is still on top form, but the episode itself was pretty weak. Let’s hope next week’s fantastic-looking booze episode lives up to the promo.

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